Elizabeth Shane

We are pleased to showcase the poetry of Elizabeth Shane, whose writing has been a great comfort to many survivors of sexual abuse. ‘Self Doubt’ is the fourth in a series of five of Elizabeth’s poems.


How loud is that word? A record stuck on repeat, going round and round until it overtakes the spinning thoughts trying hardest to stop the noise!

And it is exactly that. Noise! Echoes of a dark cave from time that far exceeds your existence,

Yet it’s there following like a faithful friend, looking for a new host to jump into.

It is not my friend neither my enemy, but a reminder

I didn’t ask for, yet, who invited it in?




Or me?

I wasn’t born with self-doubt, I was born with curiosity,

I wasn’t born with additional voices; they were passed onto me as unwanted gifts along the way,

Yet somehow, I never returned the gifts or threw them out,

I let them stay!

In fact, they camped out past expectation,

The extra voices holding hands with self-doubt,

A long-lasting relationship indeed!

I ponder this – without self-doubt would I continue to push myself beyond my comfort zone or remain complacent?

There are times when I’m ready to beat self-doubt into submission, on other occasions I wear it as a bold scarf around my neck,

The brightest adorned are not always the confident ones, but harbour hidden desire to shine bright with all the other stars.

Erasing self-doubt, eradicating the voices, would I effectively be removing myself or what I’ve inherited?

I know I need not accept the unwanted shadows so carelessly scattered but can be swept away.

Just like seasons, self-doubt comes and goes, sometimes it is there longer than anticipated or battles with you daily.

There will come a time when it no longer serves a purpose, because you my friend, will recognise your own strength and find new words, kind voices, self-belief.

© Elizabeth Shane – CSA Survivor (From Behind the Mask)

Available on www.elizabethshane.com



About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Shane is an author, poet, mother, community volunteer, survivor of child sexual abuse.
Before writing her first book, ‘Silhouette of a Songbird’, Elizabeth had never read or written any poetry. Her previous counsellor suggested finding a hobby as an outlet which Elizabeth did somewhat reluctantly, joining a community choir. To her surprise, singing in choir had such a positive impact on her mental health, it encouraged Elizabeth to try other creative avenues taking up singing lessons, drama and creative writing to help improve her lack of confidence. With encouragement and support from her drama teacher, Elizabeth began to explore poetry as a creative tool to express all the bottled-up feelings, anger and pain she struggled to articulate as a child through to adulthood.

As well as giving talks about her lived experiences, supporting charities and organisations through writing, podcasts and speaking engagements, Elizabeth received letters from members of the Royal Family in response to offering her book for their charitable causes. Elizabeth uses her poetry to give strength and hope for all those who are searching to make sense of a traumatic past, to empower others to have a voice and right to be heard. She continues to raise awareness of the complexities and impact of childhood trauma to break the stigma and silence around difficult conversations, including the benefits of creative arts.